DEATH NOTE | Movie Release, Showtimes & Trailer | Cinema Online
Movie Details

DEATH NOTE

Light Yagami is the top high school student of Japan who has, until recently, led a boring and uneventful life. All that quickly changes when he finds a mysterious notebook with the title "Death Note" on it, lying on the ground near his school. This innocent-looking object which should remain in the hands of God, may just be the catalyst that would change the fate of the world forever. Although initially skeptical after realising that it is a tool of a Shingami (God of Death), Light eventually decides to use it to `cleanse` the world of evil. With the power to kill anyone by writing the name on the page, he begins to hold the scales to judge criminals based in his discretion.

Language: Japanese
Subtitle: NA
Classification: U
Release Date: 9 Nov 2006
Genre: Horror / Thriller
Running Time: 2 Hours 6 Minutes
Distributor: SONY PICTURES RELEASING INTERNATIONAL
Cast:
Director:
Format: NA

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Review
Writer: Rina Oh

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Watch this if you liked: NA

The movie begins with rain falling on Central Tokyo. A book flutters onto the ground and the moment it hits, the area around it dries. It reads "Death Note" on the cover. The film quickly switches to media reports of criminals mysteriously dying from heart attacks. Talk shows interview people on the streets about their thoughts of these strange happenings and Japanese youths follow the deaths like the latest fad. "Kira", the questionable god who might be responsible for the deaths becomes a hot topic everywhere.

Light Yagami, is a genius high school student who believes justice must be served. After stumbling upon the "Death Note" (that Ryuk, the God of Death, intentionally misplaced) and realising its ability to kill anyone whose name is written on its pages, Light is quickly seduced by its power and begins to use it to "cleanse" the world of evil.

As Light begins to see himself as 'Kira', this feeds into his ego and he attempts riskier and more brutal killings. He even goes after the police and law enforcement agents who are hunting him down. Enter 'L', an FBI agent, whose mission is to find "Kira". A cat-and-mouse game begins as the two battle it out to find each other's identity.
The Death Note manga (comics) was first serialised in Japanese manga magazine in December 2003. The series has since ended in Japan with a total of 108 chapters.

Fans of the Death Note manga series would be pleased to know that the storyline in the film remains the same apart from a few minor adjustments. "Battle Royale's" Tatsuya Fujiwara plays the handsome, good-turned-evil Light Yagami and Kenichi Matsuyama plays the sweet-toothed, semi-reclusive detective, 'L'. Both actors gave an astounding performance but it os Matsuyama who steals the show as the eccentric "L". Another outstanding character is Ryuk, the God of Death, who is a direct replica of the manga series (nothing surprising about that!)

Overall, the movie is a refreshing change from the regular Japanese horror but its pace is quite slow and the film shows no gore at all. The movie's all-too-many flashback scenes make it incoherent at times and could confuse audiences (especially those who know nothing about the manga series). Its use of Japanese and English (which you will find in the beginning and ending) is a little strange but it's obvious the film is trying to break into the US market (so we probably shouldn't blame them for that).

Verdict: The movie IS worth watching and fairly enjoyable, but if you're a Death Note manga fan, keep your expectations low.

Hint: Wait till the credits finish to get a sneak preview of the sequel.

Cinema Online, 23 September 2008
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Classification
U - General viewing for all ages
P13 - Parental guidance is advisable for children below 13 years old
18 - For 18+ with elements for mature audiences
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